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The word “legacy” has long brought to mind the wealthy passing on estates to their heirs or making large bequests to a favorite charity. But today, that narrative is shifting as countless technologies allow every person to tangibly improve the lives of strangers across the globe and future generations. For instance, fintech is tackling problems such as inaccessible, unfair, and inefficient financial services while sustainable innovations — like smart meters and super computers — are battling climate change.
You now have vast opportunities to drive progress by investing in tech. Likewise, the innovations you use at work, in experiences, and navigating life stages offer ubiquitous ways to leave your mark.
Sustainability-related innovations are also quickly emerging, allowing investors to directly address the impacts of climate change. We see numerous investable opportunities across a wide range of companies both leveraging and creating sustainable technologies to drive huge results.
For instance, one sustainability-focused investment company solely finances climate solutions like renewable energy projects. Their investments cumulatively avoid emitting 5.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (the equivalent of the emissions from 1.1 million cars) and save four billion gallons of water annually (enough for roughly 22 million people to drink).3 Another company builds sci-fi-worthy super computers to enable predictive climate science. Its exascale computers run nearly three billion calculations per second, creating massive climate simulations on thousands of dynamic factors to offer insights that help combat climate change.4
In addition, as individuals, we can now easily contribute to solving climate change issues through the innovations we use on a daily basis. You can buy smart meters harnessing Internet of Things technologies from one US small-cap tech company to improve your home’s energy efficiency and practice responsible water usage. This same firm recently launched an innovation-focused subsidiary dedicated to creating cutting-edge sustainable technologies for its customers.
Similarly, you can shift away from fossil fuels using the next generation of solar panels at your home or work. One large-cap solar firm’s technology has a carbon footprint that is 2.5x lower, a water footprint that is 3x lower, and an energy payback period that is up to 2x faster than older solar panels.6
These companies are just a few of the innumerable ways individuals can participate in sustainable innovation — both with their assets and their actions — that may help protect future generations.
1Source: MSME: Finance expanding opportunities and creating jobs, World Bank, EY, 2017. | 2Source: World Economic Forum and company reports. Data as of 2020. | 3Source: Company reports, EPA.gov, Wellington Management. Data as of 2021. | 4Source: Seagate Blog, 2021. | 5Source: IEA. | 6Source: Company reports. Data as of 2021.